Archive for June, 2012

Clemson landing Top Rated Recruits

Dabo Swiney and the rest of the Clemson staff have had a huge week out on the recruiting trail. Their verbal commitments include Robert Nkemdiche (the overall number one rated recruit in the country), Elijah Daniel (a four star defensive end), and Dane Rogers (another four star defensive end.) It’s a very impressive class, but signing day is still pretty far away. I’m sure places like Alabama and Florida will make very strong pushes to get Nkemdiche to change his mind. Even if the Tigers do end up losing Nkemdiche, however, they could still end up with a very strong class if some of these other recruits end up sticking with the Tigers.

Microsoft Surface (No, not that one)

Earlier today, Microsoft announced their new tablet PC called the Surface (not to be confused with the original Microsoft Surface.) Andy Ihnatko has already posted a solid writeup of the event:

Still, I’m optimistic. I saw nothing in Monday’s event that made me suspicious or skeptical (he said, checking to make sure he’s already noted all of the details that Microsoft left out of the presentation).

This reaction comes mostly from the fact that Microsoft seems to have built a tablet that works the way that I use my iPad. I most certainly do not use it as a content consumption device: I use it as an ultraportable PC. I walk around with a big external keyboard and I keep looking for apps that deliver the power of a desktop app.

It’s for a similar reason that bet I am going to see a lot of “technology savy” lawyers starting to sing the praises of this new tablet as the tablet to get instead of the iPad, especially if it allows for Microsoft Office document manipulation on the go.

→ Tumblr Launching a New iOS App Next Week

Elyssa is pumped up about this.

Readability ends its Payment System

Readability announced today that it is doing away with its publisher payment collection system.

“Reading behavior on the web is incredibly fragmented,” [Readability’s CEO] says, revealing that only 2,000 domains were enrolled in the program compared to “millions” that came through Readability’s servers. That led to $150,000 in unclaimed funds, money which the company is hoping it can give to intended recipients. Writers and other content providers who haven’t yet registered with Readability yet can do so anytime before July 15th if they’d like to collect reader fees their domain has earned, with all payments scheduled to be doled out by July 31st.

I liked the concept of Readability, but think its execution was flawed. Unfortunately, it seems the best way to support independent creators is to setup individual subscriptions that give them a few bucks a month.

UPDATE: Marco Arment breaks down why Readability failed.

That’s a Clown Question Bro!

Harper coins a new signature phrase.

I would go see it Again

Rumor from Blastr:

The plan, as puts forth, is to release The Avengers: The Director’s Cut in theaters toward the end of the summer. Whedon has already mentioned that he’d be including some sort of director’s cut for the home-video release—complete with 30 minutes or so that he excised for Avengers’ theatrical run—so it’s not a reach to think that Marvel and Disney might throw the super-sized edition on the big screen as well.

I would almost surely go see it in the theatre to see the extra 30 minutes on the big screen.

WWDC 2012

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off today with a keynote presentation that featured a number of major announcements. I was particularly interested in:

  • New Macbook Pro: For years I have thought that my next computer would be a new desktop to replace my aging iMac. The release of this new Macbook Pro, however, has changed that. I am pretty sure that my next computer will be one of these paired with a Cinema Display. I think the combination of SSD drives and Thunderbolt will be able to handle any RAW files I throw at it.

  • Mountain Lion: $20 to upgrade. As a friend of mine said “pretty soon they’ll be paying us to upgrade.” I’ll start with the one negative of Mountain Lion from my perspective: it won’t run on my black Macbook. I bought my Macbook a few months before the Macbook’s went to the unibody design. It looks like Apple decided it was time to end support for Intel’s fairly pathetic integrated graphics. I’ve managed to get an extra year or two of life out of my laptop because of a SSD replacement, so I really cannot complain. With that caveat out of the way, I am excited for Mountain Lion. The two main things I’m looking forward to are iCloud integration and dictation. I’ve been using iCloud, particularly with iA Writer on Mac and iPad, and it seems to work even better than Dropbox for real time syncing of simple documents. I’m hoping that new iCloud features allow for a similar workflow with Pages documents. I’ve been wanting to try dictation for some time, but I haven’t wanted to pay the upfront cost for a Dragon product if I was not sure I would stick with it. I had been debating whether or not to pick up Dragon Express as an alternative. I am now glad I waited, since next month I’ll have dictation built right into my operating system.

  • iOS 6: iOS got some major updates. My fiancé was particularly excited that her new iPad will be getting Siri in the Fall. It’s not the same Siri that is currently on the 4S, either. It’s a new, improved Siri that includes improvements in areas likes sports stats and restaurant reservations. iOS 6 will also include a new Passbook application that is a storage place for all the frequent buyer cards, gift cards, travel tickets, etc…that we carry around. It has an API, so hopefully it develops a high level of ubiquity. Of course, the major feature upgrade in iOS 6 is the new Maps. iPhone will now include turn-by-turn navigation in their Maps application. Though Motion X has treated me well the past year, I fully anticipate that the new Apps will mean I do not renew my subscription to Motion X’s turn-by-turn service next year.

Summaries of the event are available from: David Pogue, Andy Ihnatko, TechHive, and Macworld.

APIs are not Copyrightable

The recent Google v. Oracle trial was watched closely by both software developers and copyright lawyers. Since I have have spent time in both of those worlds, I took a particularly keen interest on the proceedings. The first major decision made by the jury in the case was whether or not Google had infringed Oracle’s copyrights on the Java APIs, assuming that Oracle could in fact copyright such APIs. Though the jury found infringement by Google, the more important decision came from Judge Alsup a few days ago: APIs themselves are not copyrightable. A few weeks ago, the Electronic Frontier Foundation put up an excellent rundown of why APIs should not be copyrightable and Judge Alsup’s opinion agrees. Summaries of the ruling are available from both the EFF and Tyler Ochoa, writing on Eric Goldman’s blog. Mr. Ochoa’s summary on the merger doctrine is particularly strong:

Second, if there is only one way to implement a particular idea, procedure, process, system, or method of operation, then the merger doctrine says that the expression necessary to implement that idea is also not copyrightable. Judge Alsup relied on this proposition to hold that the declarations (programming syntax) for a particular method MUST be identical in order to function in the same way. The only thing that can differ is the name; everything else is specified by the requirements of the Java programming language, which all parties agreed is not copyrightable.

The full text of the decision is available via the EFF.

I Just Recently Went Through This

A hilarious, and quite true, take about living with your significant other from The Oatmeal.

The Sox versus Harper and Strasburg

Over the Monster has a solid write-up previewing this weekend’s series between the Red Sox and the Washington Nationals. The series features some of the most exciting young players in baseball, Strasburg and Harper for the Nationals and Nava1 and Middlebrooks for the Sox. Should be a fun weekend.

  1. Okay, Nava as one of the “most exciting young players in baseball” might be a stretch. 

The Second Act for Daniel Nava

Firebrand of the American League has an excellent article about Daniel Nava’s success in his most recent trip to the majors.

After 2010, it seemed that Daniel Nava’s career had peaked with the very first pitch of his major league career. Well, despite every odd, he’s returned. And he’s fighting to become more than a footnote, more than a “Oh, isn’t that the kid who hit a grand slam on his first pitch?” in local conversations. Every swing he takes, every base he rounds, is fighting to erase that reputation, reworking a history that seemed all but written in stone. Lacing a 100 MPH pitch from MVP Justin Verlander for a three-run double is a good place to start, but to really change things, you’d imagine that Nava has to make an impact in another month, one that starts with an O. It’s been a few years since the Sox have gotten that chance. But then again, if anyone knows about waiting a few years for a chance, it’s Daniel Nava.

Count me among those who assumed the Nava was a one grand slam wonder. I’m extremely glad to have been proven wrong.

Instapaper for Android

As reported on The Verge, Marco Arment has launched Instapaper for Android. Of course, the highlight of the article is in the comments. My favorites:

Marco says please take your complaints about price and SHOVE ‘EM because you weren’t buying the app anyway.

whatever happened to copying everything and placing it in your notes?? ppl are lazy.

These “iOS only” developers need to stop pretending that their products are the holy grail with their “if you dont like it, dont buy it” attitude. There are some of us who really want them to succeed (former Instapaper user on iOS), but have been really turned off by their trolling.

This is gonna bust. Pocket works fine and is free. This isn’t even properly designed.

The Continuing Walks of Daniel Bard

UPDATE: – 6/5Fangraphs has posted an excellent breakdown of Bard’s troubles.

“I think it’s maybe we tried to turn me into a starter rather than take the same pitcher I was out of the ‘pen and just move that guy to the rotation. It’s all my fault, essentially, so maybe it’s just a matter of getting back to what I had success doing in the past.”

Daniel Bard after his latest start. (h/t Fenway West)

It’s depressing to watch Bard’s most recent outings. I say that not just as a Red Sox fan, but also someone who knows him from his days pitching at North Carolina and someone who has a close friend that went to school with him and says nothing but positive things about him.

Unfortunately, no one seems to have any answers for what is going wrong. For example, Bobby Valentine could just say “I’ll think about it a while, I have some time.” Here’s hoping that they figure something out soon, or it might be Dice-K taking the mound Friday instead of Bard.

(For more coverage of Bard’s outing see the Providence Journal here and here)

XKCD – Kill Hitler

Just so great.


Permanently Unhide Your Library Folder on Mac OS X

A great tip from Daniel Jalkut over at Red Sweater Software. I’ve done it on all of my computers.